Adult male rats were subjected to different acute stressors, whose intensity was gradually increased, and their corticosterone, glucose, and serum lipid levels were studied. Serum corticosterone was sensitive to graded levels of stress intensities. Glucose followed the same trend. However, serum lipid responses were not related to the intensity of stress. Our results indicate that these latter variables were not sensitive indices of the emotional arousal elicited by brief stress stimuli. © 1986.